If you’re a regular reader or have attended any of my webcasts or live seminars you probably know of my passion for the technology now known as “scan and populate” --- I term I coined back in 2006 when the concept was first being developed. Well, I’m here today to tell you “the ship in in”! The technology is now being offered by many vendors with new products rolling out regularly. As you might guess the best products out there are those that hit the market earliest.
The market leader is Copanion’s GruntWorx which is now marketed by the AICPA’s CPA2Biz affiliate. They were formed in 2006 and now offer a very full and rich stable of capabilities including a newly released “gather” function and direct populate functionality to GoSystem Tax RS, UltraTax, and ProSystem Fx Tax. This is great news for UltraTax and ProSystem Fx users as the GruntWorx service is most definitely superior to the “in suite” products offered by Thomson Reuters and CCH.
As mentioned above both Thomson Reuters and CCH have “in suite” products but the general feeling among users has been that the “best of breed” products (i.e. GruntWorx and the SurePrep product 1040ScanPro) are far superior. And just last week Intuit announced their third attempt in this market with a product dubbed “Tax Import”. (Their original 2007 product was pulled for poor performance and in 2009 they private-labeled the Copanion product inside of Lacerte.)
Also announced last week was the first “A&A-side” product: ScanWriter from Personable. This product extends the “scan & populate” concept by scanning bank and credit card statements and populating Quickbooks directly with the applicable data.
In the 70’s and 80’s we moved almost all “pencil work” to a keyboard --- and it looks like the first few decade of this century may well be remembered as those when we moved from key-punch to scan (or gather) and populate.
Smart firms will get to know these products very soon. Smarter firms are already using them!